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Protein To Pack That I Can Get Through Customs From International Travel?
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Hey guys,

 

I'm going to be flying from El Salvador to Fort Lauderale and have about an 8 hr layover there in FLL before my next two flights. Do you have any ideas of proteins I can take that would pass customs? Is jerky really the only thing that is allowed? Hardboiled eggs? I'm still underweight from Celiacs and really badly need a lot of protein, I know I could eat it on my first flight but not really have anything to eat after immigration. I'd rather not have to spend on a taxi taking me to a restaurant close to the airport with a gluten-free menu. But might have to resort to that.

 

This website here says that I can bring cooked fish, but I'm not sure how current/updated this site is.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/82/~/travelers-bringing-food-into-the-u.s.-for-personal-use

Has anyone ever tried bringing cooked fish?

 

On a sidenote, have you had any experience with the salads that are for sale in the airports that come in little black boxes with clear lids? These should be ok to consume even if they aren't labeled gluten free and didn't have any special handling? I currently cannot eat fruit unfortunately.

 

Thanks y'all!

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The only customs experience I have is from US to Canada and back. But they have allowed store packaged cheese (don't cut it up and repackage), tuna - either a pull top or those foil type packages. Not the best, but you can eat it out of the package. Sometimes I can get peperoni packages across, sometimes not. I've never had a problem with chicken. I've been told you can't take anything across, that the country you are going into grows ie- apples, potato, etc. But they seems to want in the original package. I used to travel and bring food all the time - but this was into Canada and back to US.

 

Can you bring a couple of gluten-free protein bars? Or powder protein mixes. You could buy a water bottle and mix it up once you get there. Sometimes they aren't considered food - depends on agent <G>Not a great solution, but it would get you some protein....They wouldn't take up much space either.

 

One of the customs agents told me that there is an 800 number you can call and just ask what is allowed. Maybe you can find that online, or on the airport's website. He also told me the list changes sometimes. ie- when there was a mad cow scare, nothing beef, not even cheese.

 

I'm new to gluten-free, but not to travel <G>

good luck.

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I have brought canned meat on planes.  Make sure it has a pull tab.  One word to the wise, pull it out and show it right away at the scanner.  Otherwise they will pull apart your bag and be looking for what metal is in there and leave you to get everything back into it.  I have also taken hard boiled eggs and muffins.

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Hit the airport stores for candy, juice, milk, nuts, potato or corn chips. Labeling is good here in the U.S. It is not healthy, but it will fill you up.

Plus, check out the restaurants at the airport. There is a new PF Changs (gluten-free) at the Atalnta airport when we layover on our way to England. Yeah! Delta offers gluten-free on international flights. Still bringing food though, just in case they botch it.

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I'm thinking baked beans might be an option? Either in a ring-pull can, if you can take those (I though they would be banned due to safety risks, sharp metal and all) or those plastic pre-packaged tubs.

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Thanks to all for your great ideas!!! I think I will try several different things and just hope I'm left with at least something after going through security. I want to try the fish, eggs, and beans at the very least. If I have to trash everything I will just buy snacks or something there.

 

Also cyclinglady, thanks a million for letting me know about PF Chang's, as it's very likely I will be flying through Atlanta later. It's so reassuring to hear from another Celiac person that you've had a good experience somewhere instead of just reading on the internet that it's gluten-free and feeling like I might be about to gamble my health.

 

Also good to know about Delta possibly offering gluten-free stuff. When you say in case they botch it do you mean that they might not have it available all the time or that they might say its gluten-free but it might not actually be safe?

 

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond, really appreciate it.

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Sorry, I should not use slang. I am hopeful that Delta employees or their contractors remember to put gluten free meals on the flight. I think it will be safe. I am guessing it will be pre-packaged foods. We will not be eating an unmarked sandwich. I just thought of this....we have a recently retired Delta flight attendant in our family. She worked international flights. I am going to ask her.

I have eaten at PF Chang's, but not the new one at the Atlanta airport. I have called ahead to confirm that they offer gluten-free as I understood that their menu at that location is limited. We plan on eating their soon.

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Hey guys, I just wanted to check back in with you and let you know that I was able to take well-cooked fried fish fillets through customs with absolutely no problems. Very tickled that worked out, as the way it turned out I wouldn't have had enough time on my layover to stop at a restaurant anyways.

 

Also, cyclinglady, I flew with Delta and they didn't have any gluten free meals available.

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How did you carry these fish, hot or cold or what?  Were they packaged?  Were you forced to eat them cold?  When I brought canned fish, I ate them at room temperature.  I have a few memories of car trips when the food I brought was still frozen; I called it fish popsickles and didn't find them desirable to repeat!

 

Dee

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I purchased fresh fillets straight from the ocean, salted them, and fried them very low heat for a long time in oil. I did freeze them before leaving but I think next time I won't bother as you're right freezing really does affect the flavor. I'm guessing if they're well cooked they should last around 8 hours. Add a bit of lime juice on them to be safe before leaving, the acid will help protect it from going bad. I will post again next time with update on how many hours I went before eating it, I can't remember for sure but I'll try to check that next time. I dipped the fish in my lactose-free Ranch dip and it was good.

 

I specified to customs officer that the fish I was declaring was just for my lunch and that way he knew that I wasn't bringing in a large quantity. He didn't even ask to look at it or anything. I believe the Food Regulations of the customs website I cited earlier is indeed current and updated - so good to know, as traveling gluten-free is always such a headache for me. The website says fish can be fresh, frozen, smoked, canned, or cooked.

 

How did you carry these fish, hot or cold or what?  Were they packaged?  Were you forced to eat them cold?  When I brought canned fish, I ate them at room temperature.  I have a few memories of car trips when the food I brought was still frozen; I called it fish popsickles and didn't find them desirable to repeat!

 

Dee

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